Chief executive and founder, FMXA
Which tech figurehead do you admire the most?
I'm a huge Facebooker and social media champion, so Sheryl Sandberg - the first woman appointed onto the board at Facebook - stands out as someone I admire hugely. A significant part of FMXA's business has been built on the opportunities that Facebook's platform provides in social selling services. I'd also give a shout out to my ex-boss, Nick Lowe, who has acted as a superb mentor throughout my career.
What's the biggest challenge facing the industry no-one is talking about yet?
Many of our clients come from the cyber security industry. The first quarter of 2017 was the most active quarter for investment into private cyber security companies at any point in the last five years, to the value of $509m. As a result, we've seen more than 500 new vendors wanting to enter the EMEA market - the challenge is that each one of them targets the same customers and markets, so end-users are bombarded with sales pitches. In such a competitive market, these companies need a solid channel strategy, clear differentiation and messaging. It's an opportunity for the channel, but a challenge as well.
If you could invite three famous people to dinner, who would they be?
My dinner party would host some of the 19th and early 20th century's most important figures: Mary Ann Evans (George Elliot), Ada Lovelace and Mahatma Gandhi. All of them challenged social norms, shattered glass ceilings and paved the way for this generation's opportunities. The diversity they represent is still important today, because what they demonstrate is that it takes people of all backgrounds, sexes and races to bring about innovation and inspire change.
How has 2017 been for you?
It has been an incredible year at FMXA. We've doubled our client base and introduced new client services; we've built a PR team to offer integrated PR and marketing for our clients, which adds real value to new vendors looking to gain credibility in the UK market. In addition, our brand team has doubled in size through its work in helping vendors differentiate themselves in a crowded market. GDPR is on our mind constantly - both through the work we're doing for clients that have solutions in this space, and because of its impact on the marketing discipline.
What's the most extravagant business lunch you've ever had?
Noma, Copenhagen. The most gorgeous and decadent lunch I can remember.
Which global city best matches your personality?
London, the absolute best city on the planet and a melting pot of culture, food and opportunities.
What would be your super-hero power?
Mind reading. I love psychology.
Complete this sentence. The worst thing about our rivals is...false promises, creating a false economy. There's too much dishonesty about what clients can hope to achieve. As a result, clients get burned, it impacts budgets across the industry and agency teams get burned out trying to deliver on someone else's promises. Clients deserve honesty.
What makes you nervous?
Not being prepared for a pitch or a meeting. Planning and preparation is everything.
If you could eat one type of food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Époisses - the type of French cheese that is so stinky, people are banned from taking it on public transport in France - and crackers.
Sum up the channel in three words
Scalable, powerful, fun.
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